CNN hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman mocked Fox News’ Sean Hannity during a panel discussion Wednesday, calling him President Donald Trump’s “vice president.”
Politico’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer joined the “New Day” panel to discuss their new book, “Hill to Die On,” and one of the things they noted was just how often Hannity appears to be involved in calls regarding policy.
“Let’s talk about the vice president, Sean Hannity,” Camerota joked. “It is fascinating, in your book, how often he’s involved in policy conference calls.” (RELATED: Hannity: DNC Not Giving Fox News A Debate Is ‘Pretty Gutless’)
Palmer agreed, explaining, “That was one of the stunning things throughout the book that we detailed is him being on conference calls with Republicans, with the president around health care. We still have members of Congress leaving private meetings where they are deciding what they are going to do on major issues and the first call is Sean Hannity.”
Palmer added that on some occasions, members of Congress called Hannity, and in other cases, the reverse was true.
The notion that Hannity might be serving as a sort of shadow adviser is nothing new. The Los Angeles Times reported in 2017 that the president often spoke with Hannity in the evenings after his Fox News show ended. The report also said that, according to their source, Hannity had advised Trump to take more of a hard-line stance on illegal immigration.
Hannity also appeared at a Trump rally along with fellow Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, which ultimately resulted in a reprimand from network executives.
Palmer also noted that during the shutdown, Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan had been in “almost constant contact” with Hannity — but she placed the blame for this constant contact on Hannity rather than Jordan or any of the others.
“This isn’t a criticism of them,” she said. “It shows Sean Hannity’s hold on members of Congress and on the president.”
“Senate-confirmed Sean Hannity, by the way,” Berman joked before cutting to a commercial break.
The president has denied allowing anyone outside of his administration to dictate policy. Amid suggestions that he declared the situation at the border to be a national emergency at the behest of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Hannity, Trump responded, “Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do, not of me. If I changed my views he wouldn’t be with me. They don’t decide policy.”